Where Snapdeal Dropped Aamir Khan, Amazon Drops a Gutsy New Ad to Counter Intolerance
It takes guts for a brand to take a position on a subject. Symbolic shallow views on issues can be adopted when there is an outgoing administration, but that hardly stands for guts.
What is a clear display of resolve & strength is to express views at a time when there is a new leadership coming in with a thumping majority, after a bitter election campaign and that too a very divisive one. Many might disagree with that view, but it’s genuine. Else why would a brand express it in today’s time of an extremely adverse environment of digitally connected business reputation?
Amazon with its new Advertisement in the US has shown the same guts. There may be a history of Trump attacking Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post (owned by Bezos), but this move doesn’t seem to deter the brand anyhow to not speak their mind, even when Trump is now the US President Elect.
In Trumpland where talks of banning Muslims gets a roaring applause, the ad revolves around a Priest and an Imam who happen to be friends. With age catching up, both the Imam and the Priest buy online the same comforting gift i.e. knee braces for each other. The priest and the Imam kneel in front of their gods and pray. That’s friendship beyond so-called religious lines.
The commercial is bound to go viral with Jeff Bezos leading –
Love this TV commercial for Amazon Prime. Very proud of our ad team. https://t.co/E8ceXs4nte
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 17, 2016
Now take the case of Snapdeal in India, it’s not a long time ago that there was a huge intolerance debate in India. Where the intolerance continues, the debate was muted by the mighty and the hooligans (trolls in the digital world). Aamir Khan, the then Snapdeal Brand Ambassador, celebrated by the eCommerce company chose to speak out on the issue. Speaking in his personal capacity at an event, he shared a conversation he had with his wife who expressed the growing intolerance in India and wondered if it was safe to be in the country for the sake of the children and quality of life. Where many could understand that it was a temporary aberration given the intolerance in the air, this comment cost Aamir Khan dearly from all quarters. Trolls, radical sympathisers in the government, ultra-nationalists, Hindu right wing, hooligans, digital terrorists, trolls an army of them attacked Aamir.
At a time like that Snapdeal snapped the ties and dumped Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador. Something the company never acknowledged publicly.
Later even the Defense Minister indirectly endorsed Aamir Khan being trolled and sacked as Snapdeal’s Ambassador, speaking at an event boasting how a lesson was taught. Watch –
Now this is something a brand like Snapdeal needs to learn from brands like Amazon and the reason why they are globally admired.